Summertime is here, which means that hot weather is upon us! I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite ways to cool down is by being in the water. Cool off from the heat by peacefully floating down the Shenandoah River in West Virginia with River & Trail Outfitters.
Even though this is located in West Virginia, the drive is only about an hour and a half away from the Prince George’s County MD area. River & Trail also has another tubing experience located in Brunswick, MD. They have two types of tubing: mellow tubing and whitewater tubing.
Now since this was my first experience water tubing (outside of a lazy river at an amusement park), I decided to go with the mellow tubing. This trip lasted about an hour and a half, and I enjoyed floating down the river with my family. If you don’t want to float in a tube, you can get a kayak or canoe at their location for just $10 extra!
Since this tubing experience is out in nature, there were lots of water bugs and dragonflies, and the river would have some rocks on the bottom that you could possibly scrape yourself on, but there is a staff member who briefs you about everything you need to know for your river trip on the quick bus ride upstream.
When I arrived to the location, I was directed to park in their designated lot, and then walked up to their booth. This is where you will check in for your trip, and they have a small store right next to it where you can buy things like water shoes, waterproof phone covers, and more. After that, I was directed to a staff member who got me a lifejacket for the ride. Once I had my lifejacket on, I waited for the bus to come take me upstream, which is where the tubing trip will begin. When I got off the bus, I received my tube and was then free to get in the river to start my tubing experience.
There are plenty of spots where you can go over and take a break before getting back in the tube and continuing your ride. Some people will go over and chill on the sides that are accessible on land, while others find rocks to sit on. Either way, you have options if you want to take a break from the tube.
Helpful tips and reminders for you if you decide to go river tubing:
- NO FLIP FLOPS, wear good water shoes: River & Trail won’t allow you to wear flip flops because of the rocks and such, so try to wear protective water shoes if you have a pair, because those rocks are no joke.
- Bring food/water if you think you’ll want it for the trip: Since the river tubing goes on for more than an hour, feel free to pack stuff to munch on if you need it. They offer this cute little rectangular tube that attaches to yours where you can put things like food, drinks, a speaker, etc.
- Bring a waterproof phone cover: It is possible that your phone could fall into the river if you’re not careful. I like the covers that are connected to a lanyard, so your phone can be secured. River & Trail sells these covers at their shop.
- Bring a towel: This can be often forgotten, because it’s not a guarantee that you’ll get fully in the water, but I’ve seen a few people flip over, and others would try to swim to a rest spot, so getting wet is definitely to be expected. So try to bring something to dry off with afterwards.
- Wear sunscreen AND bug spray: Heat and bugs are no joke out there, especially in the summertime, so please make sure your skin is protected. I was definitely burning up in the sun lol, I had to splash water on myself.
My overall experience with River & Trail was an enjoyable one, and I would love to go river tubing again (I still think snow tubing is better though, lol!) I think this has easily become one of my new favorite ways to cool off in the summertime, and just enjoying nature outside.